The Religion Of The Gun — A Guest Post By Roger Jacob Llewellyn

A couple of days ago, I asked if any of my non-U.S. readers would be interested in writing a guest post about how they view our gun culture from outside our borders.  I had a couple of takers, and Roger was first in line with a historic view and an opinion of where we are today.  There is a saying that sometimes we “can’t see the forest for the trees”, and that is why I value the views of those outside this nation, who often see our situation far more clearly than we can.  I’ll let Roger tell you in his own words … Thank you, Roger, for this very thoughtful, honest view!


The Religion of The Gun

A Brief Opening Statement on Humanity

All belief systems have a historical start bred out of a perceived necessity. This is embraced by followers who in turn are part of a population. In time the belief system becomes ingrained into a culture and often forms its own symbiosis with other sympathetic or empathetic beliefs, until it is hard for the outsider to separate one from the other, while to the insider they are all part of the identity.

Within The American Lore

At the start of the American journey there was an idea that in too much central government lay a path to tyranny and that the ideal was in a combination of communities coming together for the common good when the need required this, otherwise independence would be the norm. Being realists of that time it was understood self-defence would be a requisite, for there were perceived hostile European empires ever predatory and natives seen as alien savages. A standing army was viewed with suspicion as this could be the tool of a central government which might see fit to impose its will. In addition in an ever expanding nation local defence was seen as a wise stance against lawless elements. Thus was born the notion that a citizen should have the right to bear arms and be on call to come together with the rest of the community for that common good. It was assumed the community would be the one best to decide what was the common good.

Frailties of All Belief Systems

At this juncture it should be noted all belief systems start out with a set of simplistic ideas as to what is the best solution. All accept that Humans have flaws, some maintain strict adherence to their idea of the belief is the true and only way. This misses the point of an old saw that in one version says ‘The Rule Book is for the guidance of the wise and the adherence of the unfortunate’

In The Beginning Was The Gun

A measure of Brevity requires we move on two centuries and a few decades and consider the current state of the evolution of the right to bear arms and suspicion of central government in the development of the USA as the two are linked in one political symbiosis which has become cancerous.

The growth of the Legal Gun Culture is of course linked to that mis-used part of the Constitution ‘Right to bear arms’. To quote the full sentence “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  does not actually help the Gun Control argument, because the Gun Lobby has enough followers who are willing to subscribe to the ‘Suspicion of Central Government’ belief and that guns are necessary just in case Central Government tries to impose its will on them, ignoring the fact that the said body is imposing its will on a daily basis because that is how government works. The events of January 2021 in Washington is sufficient evidence of effects of the cancer.

The Gun Lobby also are content to see gun ownership as a defence against mob (ie other races) violence coming near their community; the term ‘violence’ being very elastic in their view; such as say a BLM march. It is difficult for the Gun Lobby to argue against this, when most of their own marches are groups composed of ‘White Folk’. It is a nascent racial/cultural aspect prevalent around the world. The problem being in the USA there is a very efficient commercial arms manufacturing and distribution network.

Add to this the tragic entrenchment of sections of the White Communities into the idea that they are under threat, a view fostered and encouraged by extremists, and opportunists with an excess of media outlets and you have a replay of the Cold War mentality. Thus the manufacture and sales of guns is seen as part of an insurance scheme- ‘because you never know’  is in the back of minds fed by all manner of febrile propaganda.  From this breeds another fear, from those in communities who feel they are under threat from the perceived ‘White’ Gun Lobby, that being they had better arm themselves…’because you never know…’ A Cold War without government and diplomatic channels to damp down any heating up.

In this febrile and fractured social situation it becomes a near impossibility for government to impose the required sanctions to limit the gun owners and the amount of weaponry they can legally hold. For the ever opportunistic opposition to such laws need only raise the twin spectres of  ‘Central Government’ and ‘They’ taking our guns away’ and out come the proverbial torches and pitchforks. Never mind that such access allows volatile folk means to a violent solution to their disaffection. Never mind that in even the most disciplined and trained army in a battle zone when shot and shell are flying there will be those struck by their own side, thus forget the ‘good guys’ carrying guns solution.

The View From Outside

Any Gun Lobby supporter reading this will tell me I don’t understand America. Actually I understand their part of America all too well. It is a place of fundamentalist views, of narrow-eyed suspicion, angry that there are still heretics and ‘those people’. It is a place of a fiery unforgiving warped version of core beliefs. It is a place which is willing to accept other people dying needlessly so that it can cling to its obsessive bitterness. A place where as far as it is concerned all ills and woes are down to a corrupt elite and their effete lackies. It is the mirror image of views you would find in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, vast swathes of Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, in areas of South East Asia, all hiding behind religions they claim they follow but never bothered to study in depth; all who see the gun as the final arbiter in any argument.

These so-called Americans, who care nothing for the Nation but only their enclave. They are little different from the chanting mobs in any of the aforementioned locations. I would like to think these fine white folk are offended by being likened to ‘those people’. Because here is the kicker folks. We outside of the USA are inured to the news of suicide bombs and attacks on villages, we lament them and then move onto the next news. And it is now the same on the gun killings in the USA, we shake our heads, we are sorry for the dead and their nearest but then move on, because we can’t get ‘Those Gun Freak types’ to see any sense. ‘Those people’.


Be sure to check out Roger’s blog, Writing Despite Computers and Programmes!

39 thoughts on “The Religion Of The Gun — A Guest Post By Roger Jacob Llewellyn

    • I beg to differ. Our votes are our protection from tyranny. In 70 years on this planet, I have never once felt the need for a gun to protect myself against criminals or tyranny. Nope, the world would be, for me at least, a much nicer place if there were no guns.

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      • I can understand, in this age of political disinformation, propaganda, and rhetoric, together with many people’s fear inclinations and need to hide in corners of legalism, why some people might actually believe the answers to our lives are taking everything away from people that protect freedoms. One friend and one relative believe in this. They’ve always lived in “safe” neighborhoods, have always been fortunate to be surrounded by higher income, good surroundings, which I’m glad for them. But they’ve also allowed themselves to detach from reality, believed in the propaganda, not fully understanding and appreciating the foundations of this country, the dangers of rights removal (and the reasons). **I guess, the benefit of public discourse is for people of different opinions and facts to share, thereby opening discussions, and allowing readers to do the hard work of learning about our real history, the real consequences of government over-reach (No honest government wants to over-reach.), and real research. Guns are not the problems. Never have been. That’s just propaganda spinning against constitutional freedom. Which begs the question: why would a government, or many within, want to grow so big, insert themselves in every facet of our lives, and take our constitutional rights away. Those who have lived in many places, know the real history of this country, know the meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I have not always lived in safe neighborhoods, don’t now in fact, as there was a shooting two doors down from me in January. I’ve had a gun pointed at me twice in my life. And I am well enough educated to understand the Constitution, and to realize that the framers of the 2nd Amendment never envisioned the type of weapons that exist today, nor did they ever intend for every man, woman and child to own a gun. I don’t base my opinion on propaganda, but on reality. Guns in the hands of people are lethal weapons. Did you happen to see this morning’s news about the mass shooting in San Jose, California? With strict gun control, those things are NOT going to happen. Assault rifles do not belong in the hands of civilians, period. We are not safer because of guns, but rather a trip to the grocery store can turn deadly, a walk down the street, a child sitting in a classroom. I have lived in many places around this nation and I have studied history and Constitutional Law at some length, so please don’t presume I am not able to understand.

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  1. Pingback: The Gun Culture — A Guest Post By Ben Berwick | Filosofa's Word

  2. Thanks, Roger. Unfortunately, the most pertinent data is not there, deaths by individual or two individuals not connected to gang or group violence.
    Violence in the red areas is usually perpetrated by gangs, cartels, terrorists, rebels, and armies. Even racial subgroups trying to kill off other racial subgroups. Not all of it, of course, but a great deal of it. Those are not the causes of a lot of violent deaths in the USA. When you look at violence perpetrated by private citizens, as in most mass shootings in America, the numbers get turned on their heads.
    And that is what I call cultural idiocy.
    One thing I mentioned in the first reply to you that I deleted is that the name United States of America is a misnomer. It may have started as a Union, when Britain was the common enemy, but once independence was gained it did not take long for the Union to become a scattering of states with very different ideologies. North vs. South, slave vs. industry, and now Red vs. Blue. Individual states might be somewhat aligned, but each has their differences. That was good in the beginning, or so I am told, but it has deteriorated ever since. Now, it is every state for itself, for the most part. And the NRA is taking advantage of that.

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  3. I was replying to Roger’s post when I got the brilliant idea to look up mass shootings in America, just to get my facts correct. The surprise was real when the list I found started in 1920, and burgeoned from there. What the freaking trigger-happiness is wrong with Americans! You got a problem. Grab a gun and solve it with violence. The worst that can happen is you die. Once you’re dead, big freaking deal.
    I cannot even call this insanity, not after reading the overly-lengthly number of mass shootings in the past 101 years. (This list does not include mass killings not involving bullet-ejecting weapons! How many of those have there been!)
    What makes people decide that if they hate their lives, they should take others down with them. And why is it such a mainly American disease?
    Yeah, it happens in other countries too, especially in my native Canada, but we love to copy our American neighbours. But nobody does it up like the citizens of the USofA. This is more than gun culture. This is mass idiocy.
    The greatest country on Earth? Bullshit! The most delusionary country on the planet is the reality. Guns are just a symptom.

    Liked by 2 people

              • Hmmmm? 🤔.
                Covid
                Israel
                Conspiracy Theories
                Think for Yourself
                The Logic of War
                History’s Big Picture
                Democracy.
                OK I’m stopping now. No one wants to hear about ‘The Correct Form of Socialism’ or ‘Self-Publishing is the Only Way These Days’ or ‘No, There Always Have Been Idiots’😏.
                I don’t want to take over here.

                Liked by 1 person

                • If you’re serious … I’ve spent days now, and much of this evening trying to write a post on Israel and what’s happening this week … the demolition by Israeli forces of a building housing mostly media companies, the killing of 8 Palestinian children. I admittedly don’t fully grasp what gives Israel the idea that they have a right to uproot Palestinians from their homeland. I think Netanyahu is a grade-A jerk. I realize that neither side is perfect, also realize that Trump played a role in pumping up Netanyahu’s ego, which was already bloated enough. But, every time I try to write about it … I just can’t. So, if you feel inclined to do so … I will gladly publish whatever you write! (I also like your topic “No, There Always Have Been Idiots” 😉 )

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                    • I feel a bit guilty taking you away from your book and other projects, but since you offered, and since I think you can do this one better than I can, I’m taking you up on your offer with deep gratitude! I can’t wait to see what you come up with! No rush, though, Roger … I do realize you have other works in progress and methinks the situation between Israel and Palestine isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Thanks again, dear Roger!

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                    • Don’t feel guilty about that Jill. My trilogy is not so much writing as a journey and a place to go to. Sometimes I have to stop off and come back here.😀
                      I’m fine with doing Israel / Palestine; will e-mail in the next couple of days.

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  4. Roger, excellent piece. Jill thanks for sharing the dais. We should also remember that America was a vast frontier, so a gun was necessary for protection and food. But, the right to bear arms is codified with the word militia. Every other right is subject to judicial interpretation over the years. What has troubled me since the Brady Bill expired after ten years around 2005, is why must a person have a weapon that can kill multiple dozens of people at one time. That is an infringement on the safety of other people and should be restricted. Keith

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    • Thank you Keith.
      Gun ownership in the USA is complex. A few years back I listened to a BBC radio documentary series about the USA in general. One episode took in a Big Sky state (I can’t remember which one, might have been Wisconsin). Anyway, the issue was a single mother, with two growing teenage lads, was just not making enough from her ill-paid job and the welfare system in the state was zero use to her. She did legally own a hunting rifle and would go out to shoot one deer, legally, solely for the meat to feed her boys. No different than any other ‘Moma’ be they cougar, bear, etc. Thus even in the 21st Century USA folk still have to hunt for their food. Something of an indictment, and oddly enough not an argument used by the NRA and allied groups.

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